SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On Sunday afternoon, a young boy was involved in a head-on collision following his football game where he sustained serious injuries. On Monday, his team rallied for him after receiving some promising news.
Eight-year-old KJ Waller was taken for emergency surgery in Danville following the crash.
His fellow North Scranton Vikings spent Monday evening at Nearra’s Pizza in Scranton, working on sending well wishes to their teammate as he recovers.
“There was a head-on collision. There was one person with serious injuries and it ended up being our KJ,” said North Scranton Vikings Assistant Coach John Howe.
KJ was involved in a serious car crash following his North Scranton Vikings football game on Sunday. Although he was the only one hurt, his injuries were significant.
“One of the other kids’ moms called me and said I was behind them and it was terrible,” said North Scranton Vikings Head Coach Tish Lavelle.
KJ was rushed to Danville Geisinger Medical Center where he underwent surgery. By Monday morning, his family and friends were cheering for him more than they do on the field.
“This morning, he woke up, and we were very happy,” said family friend Latoya Jones.
Soon after KJ opened his eyes, the bright personality he is known for followed.
“The doctor said, “What’s your favorite day?” or something like that and he said, “Sunday. It’s game day, that’s when we play,” Lavelle explained.
Just hours after KJ woke up, the Viking family got together to make him ‘get well soon’ cards as they continued to root for him from the sidelines.
“You never know how much support you have until something like this is happening. It takes a village. And this is our village, North Scranton Vikings is definitely our village,” Jones said.
But, kind words and even fundraisers flooded in from those outside of the Scranton community as well.
“Very, very happy about the support that we’ve gotten throughout the community, even different teams, different towns, different states,” Howe added.
“These tags came out of nowhere. Carbondale, Lakeland, like Dunmore. Like, ‘What can we do? Tell us what can we do. What can be organized?” Lavelle said.
The #KJStrong decals will raise money for KJ and his family, a family that the North Scranton Vikings view as their own.
“It’s a family to these kids, you know. They’re all brothers and sisters and you know just to be here to rally around and show support. That’s what it’s all about,” Howe explained.
#KJStrong decals can be purchased at the North Scranton Vikings football field or by contacting any of the coaches.